The newly appointed US Ambassador to Macedonia Kate Mary Byrnes surrendered her letters of credence on Friday to the President of Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski. “I can hardly wait to witness the integration of your country in NATO as the Alliance’s 30th member-state. We are about to become allies, and our bilateral relations are about to become stronger than before. I am very glad to start my ambassadorial mandate in a time so important for North Macedonia,” Byrnes told Pendarovski. Pendarovski officially welcomed Byrnes to Macedonia, wishing her success in her mission to Macedonia. Later on Friday, Byrnes also held meetings with the PM of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov. At their meeting, Zaev introduced Byrnes to the current activities of the Macedonian government concerning the country’s integration in NATO and the EU. “We remain dedicated to implementing all necessary reforms for making our country competent to become the 30th NATO member-state, and to start the membership negotiations with the EU. We started the initiative for raising the army’s budget to 2 % of the state’s GDP by 2024,” Zaev told Byrnes. At the meeting with Dimitrov, Byrnes handed over to him copies of her letters of credence as new US Ambassador to Macedonia. “You are coming to our country in a period of time very important for us, because we are about to become a member-state of NATO, and are about to start the membership negotiations with the EU. We have done a lot, and there is still more to be done, and for that we have to thank the US for the generous support it provides to North Macedonia and its growth and development,” Dimitrov told Byrnes.